After making it through the first semester, it is crazy to think that I am finished with 25% of business school. There were a lot of highs and the occasional low. Overall, here are my do’s and don’t’s for any prospective students’ first semester:
…Remember that everything is on a curve. If the test was hard for you, it was hard for everybody.
…Learn to speak the lingo like, “Yeah Garrett looked terrible out there”, “Love Doc’s on Wednesday”, “West 6th later for sure”, and “I am not crying I swear”
…As much stuff as you can (even if you feel overwhelmed). I am involved in case competitions, the McCombs Admissions Committee, Venture Fellows, and went to as many company meet-and-greets as possible. If you are at school like me to give yourself as many options as possible, then do not be afraid to take advantage of them.
…Remind every family member, significant other, friend, or co-worker that it is not personal when you do not acknowledge them for days (or weeks) at a time. Love you Mom.
…Take advantage of the MBA+ program. I did an MBA+ project with a consulting firm and used the coaches to practice for interviewers. It is much better to have a communication coach (with a PhD) tell you that you say “um” too many times than to have an actual interviewer never tell you at all.
…Expect to experience as much of Austin as you originally hoped. Austin was one of the biggest draws for me to come down here, but after having as much delicious Mexican food as I wanted, playing tennis and basketball, walking South Congress, and running around Lake Travis during the first few weeks, the reality of 12 tests in four months and endless reading put a damper on that quickly. Luckily I have 3 more semesters to work on exploring the city.
…Be afraid to fail. Whether taking part in the Texas Venture Labs Investment Competition or participating in the MBA “Pitch Party”, you might as well put yourself out there. Getting accomplished entrepreneurs from Austin to question a business idea I developed two hours before the event was useful. And humbling. And funny in a “that business will never happen” funny sort of way.
…Forget your professors are normal people too. Whether it was one professor inviting everybody over to his house for dinner, to another one of my classmates seeing a professor at a Girl Talk concert, the dynamic is much different than what you are probably used to.
So far so good – and looking forward to a lot more to come.